February 14, 2006


February 14, 2006

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent- Andy O’Neill.  Also present were:  Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Don Myott, Public Works Department; Chief Jerry Neumann, Police Department; Stephen Bishop, City Attorney; Elaine Snouwaert, Department of Ecology; Bill Peck, Palouse Conservation District; Michael Allen; Caitlyn McGehee, Boomerang Newspaper.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Council Member Bailey-correction of name under Approval of Minutes, Mike to Mark and Council Member Wekenman-correction of name under Streets and Sidewalk Committee report-Muir to Munir. Rick Wekenman MOVED to approve the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 24, 2006.  Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : No discussion

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted written report. Council Member Wekenman asked Don how much of the knotweed has been hauled off.  Don said three loads.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported the following:

Officer Wright will not be attending the Spokane Police Academy training at this time due to health related issues.  He will be attending the academy training in Seattle in April.  The state mandates that a new officer must go to the academy 6 months from the date of hire.  The department is working on junk vehicles and junk yards, according to city ordinances.  The owners are given a 90 day notice to comply.  If they don’t they are sited, and given another deadline.   If that deadline is not met, the city can clean up or remove the problem and place a lien on the property.  The department is also addressing vehicles that are not licensed in Washington and sitting on private, or right of way property.  These vehicles must be licensed in Washington 15 days from possession, if not they are sited.  If deadline is not met, the vehicle is removed at owner expense. If property is used as a rental, the responsibility is that of the property owner.  The city has purchased a 2004 Dodge Durango from Bagott Motors.  This vehicle was purchased from a 2005 Block Grant ($10,992) and city funds ($9,300).  The City of Palouse Police Department has signed on a grant application with Garfield and Whitman County for a second radar reader board for traffic education.   The Chief attended a Youth Safety meeting in Pullman .  It has been fairly quiet in town; the department is working on speed control in and out of town.   The Chief attended a regional meeting in Pullman in which Whitman and Latah county were in attendance.  Topics covered were drugs issues, the Dare program and the new drug dog was introduced.

Council Member Bagott asked the Chief how long the academy training is.  The Chief said 5 months and he reminded the council that the state will reimburse the city for replacement officers in the interim.  Council Member Wekenman asked about the status of the previous burglaries.  The Chief said that there are outstanding warrants for two suspects.


A. Brownfield Project – The Mayor did not have a report at this time


      A. Ecology – Elaine Snouwaert to report on TMDL for the North Fork Palouse River

      Total Maximum Daily Load for fecal coliform bacteria

Elaine provided a report titled Pollution Sources and Corresponding Organizational Responsibilities.  This report identifies compromised water areas on the North Fork of the Palouse River .  It is a draft plan to allocate how much fecal coliform needs to be reduced, who is going to pay for it, and when it would happen.   The discussion of culprits included pet waste, possible failed septic systems and natural causes.  It also includes what tributaries were monitored, and storm drain runoff.  Elaine asked Don Myott what type of maintenance the city has in place and where does the storm drains run to.  Don explained that the city replaces old sewer lines almost every year, flush the sewers,   check for breaks, and plugs.  The city is currently looking into a TV video camera to improve the maintenance of the lines.  Don pointed out that the storm drains go directly into the river without filtration.   Bill Peck said that some cities place rain gardens prior to storm drains.  This allows the pollution to filter through before going into the river.  Council Member Milano asked Elaine how close we are to having to notify citizens about water quality in the river.  Elaine said that if and when the water quality levels get to a point of warning, the department notifies Public Health and they put out an announcement.  One point of good news from the department is that the toxins in fish have declined.  Council Member Bailey asked how a failed septic system gets reported.  Elaine said that someone would have to notice a problem and report it to Public Health.

B. Palouse Conservation District – Bill Peck to discuss plans for various plantings throughout Palouse

Bill Peck is an Americorp volunteer and has been looking at the area around the wastewater treatment plant with Don Myott.  This area has been selected by the Palouse Conservation District to plant native trees.  Don reported that previous plantings have been done at the location of the dump site for the Congress Hotel and the old sewer plant.  Both locations show that the trees are thriving.  Bill explained the district’s role in the county.  Cost share grants are available to help cattle owners to put in pumps for water, instead of the cattle going directly to the river, planting trees to help with wind erosion and restoration to the land to encourage birds to stay in the area. Bill said that the district keyed into the area around the wastewater treatment plant suggesting that the city consider a nature park of sorts in that area with benches and markers for the planting.  He would hope that there may be volunteers that could help with this project.  The district is looking to develop a long term relationship with the city.  Council Member Milano said that as this area is across from our city park, it would be great to continue the green space development.  He did ask who would do maintenance and care for the aging plants.  Bill said the district is always there to care for the planting they put in place.  The Mayor stated that he has spoken to Don Myott and Rob Buchert suggesting that the city put up somewhere between $200 to $500 to show good will and partner with the district.  Council Member Milano MOVED to allow the city to spend $400 to augment the Palouse Conservation District planting project by the wastewater treatment plant.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  Don Myott said that perhaps not all of that funding would need to be spent this year.  The Mayor said that he would leave that to Don’s discretion.  The motion carried unanimously.



Council Member Bagott reported that the committee met with Commissioner Partch and TIB in regards to Whitman Street .  More information is needed on the status of the railroad tracks that are now owned by the state. The city was awarded up to $22,691 from the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) for the chip/seal project.  The committee also viewed the sidewalks on H Street going up to the school.  Funding may be available to improve the safety conditions for kids walking to school.


Council Member Milano has been researching the need for an RV Park and a new city shop on Main Street across from the city park.  The Lions Club is interested in a partnership with the city for this RV Park. He will research this. 

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
The committee will be planning a meeting with the Police Department.  The Block Watch Flood Party was a success.  Officer Wright is still recovering and has been working on light duty.

The Mayor has provided a list of proposed projects for the council committee’s to examine in 2006.

Policy/Admin– Outdoor Event policy, natural vegetation site.  Reassembling the Planning commission for the city zoning and land use, private enterprise’s use of sidewalks, recycling program.

Personnel/Pool-Current Public Works Superintendent is looking at retirement in 2008, personnel reviews.

Park/Cemetery/Buildings-RV park, how to market city lot for sale. 

Water/Sewer-Fisher’s Addition sewer project, review the money being put aside for a new reservoir, Water and Sewer rates review, promote conservation.

Police, Fire/Safety-Moving Police department into old city hall building, active on Joint Fire Board.

Streets/Sidewalks-Whitman Street, decaying sidewalks, 6 year street plan.

Finance– Enterprise fund for water, sewer and city lot.

The Mayor reported that Pete Hertz is now on the Solid Waste Advisory Committee; Council Member Schorzman is on the Whitman County .08 committee, Council Member Snook will be serving on the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Small City Advisory Committee.  The Mayor is working with the Cub Scouts on an event they would like to have in the city park.  No dates are set yet.  He encourages city employees and council members to take advantage of all educational opportunities.  Funds are set aside for training and they should be utilized. AWC events usually offer scholarships if registered early.

The WSU/U of I Bike race will take place April 29 this year.  This is the 3rd year of the race going through Palouse.  The Boy Scouts will be having a Spaghetti Dinner that afternoon.  Chief Neumann said that the county has already asked our department to aid in traffic control of the event.  Council Member Snook and the Mayor attended an AWC conference in Olympia .  Council Member Schorzman was also in Olympia discussing rural health care issues.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Jeff Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. 

Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN Norm Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 02/13/06     Warrants: #  11567      through #  11575             Payment:  $1605.77

VOID Claims                 Warrants: #  11592

Claims Paid 02/15/06     Warrants: #  11576        through # 11604            Payment: $34,413.63

Payroll Paid 01/31/06     Warrants: #  6067          through # 6088              Payment: $27,074.65

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________